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Proton-M rocket crashes in Chita region of Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
16 May 2015

Fears over highly toxic rocket propellant after Baikonur launch failure.

The Proton-M was carrying a Mexican satellite into orbit when the failure occurred.  Picture: Federalspace

The Russian space agency Roskosmos informed the emergency authorities in Chita of the location where the debris of the Proton-M is believed to have crashed. 

The region is sparsely populated. 

'They have received coordinates of the region, to where the rocket may fall,' said a source. The accident occurred during work of the third stage, which means the rocket war already rather high and during the falling it should explode in the atmosphere, and the fuel in it should burn up,' said a source.

However, there were fears it could have contained several tonnes of heptyl, a highly toxic rocket propellant, when it came down. The Proton-M was carrying a Mexican satellite into orbit when the failure occurred. 

The accident follows the loss of three navigation satellites last year, and the failure of a Progress unmanned supply craft to the International Space Station last month.

All Proton launches have been suspended pending an investigation of the cause of the latest mishap.

Comments (1)

Wow, why are the failures following the rocket Proton-M? Personally, I do believe that the Russian rockets are most safe and powerful.
G. Gansukh, Ulaanbaatar, MONGOLIA
23/05/2015 20:49

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